Wave of Break-ins in Iceland over Christmas Skip to content

Wave of Break-ins in Iceland over Christmas

A series of break-ins hit the capital region during the Christmas weekend. However, the police do not believe the series are directly related to the holidays—although some thieves monitor people’s homes and take action when they’re away—but rather depend on where repeat criminals are on the loose each given time.


Central Reykjavík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

In central Reykjavík and west of the road Snorrabraut break-ins have decreased significantly. Local police captain Ómar Smári Ármannsson told Morgunbladid that the reason for this development is probably that fewer repeat criminals live in the area than in the past years. It appears as if thieves usually choose to break into houses in their own neighborhood.

“There are very few criminals left in our area. There are mainly two individuals we are watching out for who have limited respect for the properties of others. We mainly concentrate on those who are the most active with the purpose of bringing an end to their criminal careers,” Ármannsson said.

Sigurbjörn V. Eggertsson, captain in Kópavogur, said it is common that the same individuals organize a number of break-ins; therefore series of break-ins depend on what repeat criminals are out each given time. Three break-ins were reported in Kópavogur last weekend.

However, the most break-ins occurred in Hafnarfjördur were more than 20 break-ins have been reported since November, 15 of which were in private homes. Three individuals have been arrested but it is too early to conclude whether the same persons are behind all break-ins.

In Hafnarfjördur the number of break-ins increased by 53 percent from 2007 to 2009. During the first ten months of 2010 it appears as if the number would drop but that might change after the current wave of break-ins.

Assistant chief constable Margeir Sveinsson said there are many examples of people not locking their houses properly when they leave home. A powerful neighborhood watch has often proven effective; people are encouraged to report suspicious behavior.

Click here to read another recent crime-related story.

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